Johannesburg - South Africa's rand held steady against the dollar in lethargic trade on Wednesday, and was likely to stay within its recent ranges until the release of retail sales data later in the session.

The rand traded at 10.6180 to the dollar at 08:42 SA time, little moved from it close in New York on Tuesday.

“The rand remains well subdued at the moment, confined to ever tighter intra-day ranges,” said Oliver Alwar, currency trader at Standard Bank in Johannesburg, adding that the rand's close reflects indecision in the market.

The currency has lacked direction with little on the global and domestic data calendars to provide impetus so far this week.

However, the release of domestic and US retail sales could provide some momentum.

Statistics South Africa will release June sales numbers at 13:00 SA time, with US numbers due at 14:30 SA time.

Domestic sales growth is forecast to have slowed as consumers battle high inflation and debt levels.

Yields on government bonds were flat, with the benchmark 2026 issue trading at 8.33 percent, and the 2015 note at 6.69 percent. - Reuters